Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Life through a smokey haze

Where do artists get their ideas?  Short answer, "Life".  Longer answer..."Life."  This week, I was inspired by a picture in a magazine to create a smokey finish in a  home theater space for returning clients, Sarah and Randy.  It wasn't just inspired by the magazine picture, though.  It was also the swirls I painted on a cabinet door for them a few weeks back, which were inspired by the swirls in their wrought iron candle sconces...

These cabinet doors have a black crackle/blackrub finish over dragonfly metallic basecoat, finger swirled to coordinate with wrought iron sconces on a nearby wall.
...And it was the charcoal-y black undulating lines of the buildings in the Michael Birawer artwork that hangs in the room...

Sarah and Randy thought these walls were too blue of a gray, and too boring, once we finished other nearby rooms.
 ...And even the smokiness in both their southern voices when they call me "Sweetheart".   Inspiration's always a blend of dozens of things, some obvious, some nearly indefinable, some undiscovered until the job is done and I step back to look, only to realize that the songs running through my head all day somehow showed up, if you know what to look for.

This smoke haze glaze will set off the client's art, once the walls are dry enough to hang it back up.

If you want to replicate this, it's four shades of glaze (black, burnt umber, elephant skin gray and white), over a medium blue-gray basecoat.  Song choice is up to you.  Needing to keep to a budget, I used a Woolie, with a bit of wrist-flip to create swirling patterns, rather than a finer grained glazing with cheesecloth.  Up close, this means there is a coarser pattern, but it wasn't so important that it look just like smoke, but that it have the essence of the idea.  As with all glaze techniques, you have to work fast to avoid lap marks, but as long as you keep the long swirly lines happening, you can disguise the occasional heavier spot with a wisp of white, so don't be afraid to try it.

Smoke haze glazed walls.  click for close-ups.
btw:  Some of you know I am pretty picky about my name, but I'm prone to calling my friends "Darlin' " and "Sugar", myself, so if you want to shorten it from Dawn-Marie, calling me "Sweetheart" is always good with me! ;)

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